SC informed about pending criminal cases against sitting and former MPs, MLAs
There are 4,122 criminal cases pending, some for over three decades, against sitting and former members of Parliament and legislative assemblies, the Supreme Court was told Tuesday.
The apex court was informed that out of the 4,122 cases 2,324 are against sitting MPs and MLAs while 1,675 are against former lawmakers.
The submissions were made in a report filed by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter along with advocate Sneha Kalita.
Further, the apex court was informed that "Out of the aforesaid 4,122 cases, charges have not been framed in 1,991 cases and many cases are pending due to stay (264 such cases) granted by the higher courts."
The apex court had sought detailed data on the pending criminal cases against the present and former legislators from the state and various high courts so as to enable the setting up of an adequate number of special courts for expediting trial in these cases.
A PIL filed by lawyer and BJP leader Aswhini Upadhyay has sought a lifetime ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases besides setting up of special courts to expeditiously try such cases involving elected representatives
The report, which was perused by a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, stated that these cases are pending in 440 districts out of total 724 districts in the country.
"505 cases are pending in sessions court and 1,928 cases are pending in Magistrate courts, 33 in special courts under statutes and 1,650 cases have been transferred to special courts for MPs/MLAs under directions of this court in the present case," the senior advocate said.
Highlighting state-wise details of cases in which there has been glaring delay of proceedings, the document filed by the senior advocate said that in Uttar Pradesh all 992 cases have been transferred to the special court for MPs and MLAs at Allahabad, both triable by Sessions as well as Magistrate.
"In Uttar Pradesh, all the 992 cases and in Madhya Pradesh all 168 cases have been transferred to the special court headed by Additional Sessions Judge rank officer in Allahabad and Bhopal respectively, which include cases triable by Sessions courts, Magistrate courts.
"In Andhra Pradesh, 38 out of total 109 cases, in Telangana 66 out of total 99 cases, have been transferred to the Special courts so constituted manned by Sessions judge rank officer.
"In Maharashtra, 31 cases of Mumbai have been transferred to the Special courts constituted to be manned by Magistrate rank officer.
In Delhi, 38 cases have been transferred to ADJ rank and 86 cases to special judge at Magisterial level," advocate Hansaria said.
It said that 22 FIRs are registered against former Samajwadi Party MP Ateeq Ahmed, out of which 10 are for offences punishable with imprisonment for life or death sentence and are pending at various stages.
Twelve FIRs have been registered against Pawan Kumar Pandey, former MLA, between 1989 and 2017, out of which 3 are for offences punishable with imprisonment for life/ death sentence pending at various stages, the report said.
It said six FIRs are registered against Khalid Azeem, former MLA, between 2003 and 2011, out of which 5 are for offences punishable with imprisonment for life/ death sentence pending at various stages.
Six FIRs are registered against Upendra Tiwari, sitting MLA, between 1996 and 2011, out of which 3 are for offences punishable with imprisonment for life/ death sentence are pending at various stages, the report said, adding that FIR against former MLA Chote Lal Gangwar, former MLA was registered, in which charge sheet was filed on December 14, 1999, and the present status is not known.
The senior lawyer, who submitted data in a tabulated form, told the top court that trial of Kerala MLA M M Mani in a 1982 case is yet to start and the charges have not yet been framed even though the charge sheet was filed November 18, 2015.
A corruption case against Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh is pending since 2007, however, the charge has not yet been framed.
Former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa have 18 cases against him out of which 14 are punishable with life imprisonment.
Four sitting and former MLAs in Odisha have more than 100 criminal cases pending against them, it added.
(With inputs from agencies.)